“Somebody is going to get laid,” I whisper, curling my finger directly at the tall, dark, and handsome, expensive suit wearing stranger I’ve been trying to net as my first one-night stand of the evening. Of the evening? Actually I’m only planning the one. This is new STD-riddled terrain for me, thus the verbiage snafu. I’m sure there will be a missionary¸ oral, and perhaps anal snafu later this evening as well. Scratch that. There will never, ever be an anal snafu. Although, in keeping with the theme in my life, I’m sure I’ll have an entire series of snafus to look forward to from this night on until death do I part. Considering I’ve built my existence one snafu at a time it only stands to reason.
The front door to the Black Bear Saloon opens and closes at regular intervals ushering in the near freezing temperatures, a sure relief to those bathing in the sea of humanity. The 12 Deadly Sins are still going strong. They have every coed and frat boy in the bar dancing and thrashing in a mad drunken frenzy.
I watch as my roommate, Annie, wraps her arms around her boyfriend Blake, who happens to be the lead singer of the aforementioned trespasses. I’m so happy for Annie, I lose track of the task at hand for a moment. Annie has been deaf her entire life, and, thanks to high tech implants, she has some of her hearing now. It’s a miracle, and, believe me, no one deserves a miracle more than Annie. She’s the definition of a kindhearted, soul. Her boyfriend, however, is the definition of here comes trouble, thus perpetuating the fact opposites really do attract. Blake is your typical rocker bad-boy with a heart of gold and apparently with a newborn on the side, but that’s another story. Annie’s happily ever after has a bit of a modern day twist.
I’m sort of working on a happily ever after of my own—technically I’m working on a happily ever next couple of hours. As far as my life is concerned I’m not expecting some sappy forever after or any of that other fairytale bullshit. I’m a realist when it comes to that four-letter word everyone in the world seems to wield so easily—love. True love is for other people—people like Annie and Izzy and just about everyone who works at this damn bar. It’s as if some rabid epidemic went amuck and infected everyone in the facility but me. Nope definitely not me.
I’m a product of Walleye, a dirty small town in the valley that even the homeless struggle to flee from. It edges Hollow Brook like some distant slutty cousin. Which isn’t exactly saying nice things about the town I grew up in, but when just about every girl in my high school sported a baby bump at prom, even the Parent Teacher Association was forced to face the fact they might have a problem. I believe the term they used was “epidemic.” While the students rallied for OBGYN services in the health department, parents lobbied for condom dispensers to be placed next to the fruit vending machines.
Yet, somehow, I managed to graduate fetus-free! (as my mother gushed) and, in the process, maintained an impressive GPA thus landing myself a scholarship to the esteemed Whitney Briggs University, playground to the children of the rich and infamous. My parents may not fall in the rich category, but they sure do give the infamous a run for their Swiss-bank-account-heavily-tax-sheltered money. Edward Cecil Jackson, my father, has been in and out of prison on armed robbery charges for the entire length of my life—holding up liquor stores and gas stations alike. And, for the most part, he always managed to elude authorities with the exception of the odd credit union . It was always the bank heists that managed to trip him up and end a stream of illegal revenue that my family had come to depend on, but I digress.
The music drifts from the speakers as the 12 Deadly Sins finish their set for the night. Blake ends his last song with an “I love you” to Annie as he holds her in his arms and they sway their conjoined hips into the proverbial sunset. If she wasn’t my closest friend at Whitney Briggs, I would have long since barfed up the back-to-back nachos I’ve spent the majority of the night noshing on.
Why couldn’t I be the one dancing off into the proverbial sunset right alongside Annie? Why couldn’t that hornet’s ass I dated for the last two years, William Abbey Richie, keep his wandering pants zipped for five solid minutes? Hard questions for a Saturday night.
Annie’s face turns twelve shades of pink, and, if I had to guess, those sweet nothings Blake is whispering are a bit pornographic in nature.
See? If only Will would’ve kept his middle stump pointed in my direction, he could be whispering all sorts of pornographic things to me right now.
Will. Even the memory of him leaves a horrible taste in my mouth like sucking on a bucket full of rusty pennies.